Differences between Gray’s School of Art interview and Mental Health Nursing interview

Gray’s School of Art*Disclaimer – This is Rebekah’s experience of how she was interviewed at RGU for two different courses. Formats for interview may be subject to change. This blog post will give you an insight to Rebekah’s experience*

As a Gray’s School of Art alumni and new Mental Health Nursing student I had to attend interviews for both – I wanted to give you all a little insight into what the differences were in the interview process and what I did to prepare myself for them.
Gray’s School of Art looks for your development and your willingness to explore the unknown and try new things. There will be a group of you and other potential future art students waiting with your art work you have been producing throughout secondary school or college. You will have to wait at the main entrance of Gray’s after signing in at a table with someone there to help. Everyone will be put into a room and told to place their work on the wall space given. Then you wait.

After everyone has finished placing their work on the walls, there will be tutors from Gray’s that will come in to talk to you. They will ask you why you want to come to Gray’s, the artists you have based your art off, what your art work is about and your future plans. These are one on one talks, so you will not be overwhelmed by the amount of people around you.

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My friend had her interview the same week as mine but got her acceptance letter two weeks before mine which made me worry. However, the reason mine took longer was because I had applied for painting, but the tutors believed I was more suited for Contemporary Art Practice.

I was a late applicant for Mental Health Nursing as it was something I found just before graduating from Gray’s.

I went to the Ishbel Gordon building and spoke to the receptionist who told me to wait with the other people at the seated area at the front of the building. You’ll sign in and receive a badge with your name and a number on it. These badge numbers tell you what group you will be in your interview. I think there was 9 people in my interview which I was worried about at first but after the first two minutes everyone was settled and chatting.
The lecturer will ask for you all to say your name, where you are from, what you do and one exciting thing that happened to you that day. This helped calm everyone down. After everyone got to know each other we explained why we wanted to get into Mental Health Nursing.


For me it was having a love for caring for people. I had previously been a carer and loved when I was. There is no greater feeling for me than knowing that you have helped someone or made some impact in their life. I created a lot of art work on depression, anxiety and social media while at Gray’s as I felt I needed to explain it all in art form. I wanted to take it one step further and learn more about mental health and be able to take my knowledge of art with me into the nursing world.

After explaining why you are applying, there will be a bundle of cards put in the middle of the table and each person must pick one. One by one you will turn over your card to the group and explain what you think is happening in the photograph. The photos were of people who had maybe smashed a mirror and looked lost, or an elderly person who was isolated or someone bed ridden.

I believe this was to see how our minds work and how we see the world. I saw my picture from a carers side as I had a picture of an elderly man with a walker and someone standing beside him. To me that man needed support and encouragement as there was possibility that he had fallen in the past. The best thing to do though is encourage that person to keep going and tell them that they can do it but don’t push them past their limits. If the person doesn’t try, then they can become depressed and isolate themselves from fear of falling. Everyone else in my group agreed.

After this, the interview process was over. I said bye to everyone and headed to my car to wait for my reply. I received my answer by email unlike when I received my answer from Gray’s which was by post. It is nice to have the answer on paper, but I feel  receiving the answer so quickly by email was nice too. .

I was quite nervous for both of my interviews but each time I noticed one thing that I did the same. Drank water. It may seem simple, but I always drink a bottle of water before doing something that will make me nervous. This may sound odd because you will be thinking “but won’t you need the toilet half way through?”. Go to the toilet just before as well. Your bladder will be empty, so you have no fear of that happening, but water also helps cool you down which will hopefully have a calming effect like it does on me.
I also always eat before I have an interview. Nothing worse than sitting in an interview and you can’t concentrate because you are hungry, or your stomach keeps rumbling. Even if it is something small, please eat something.

One thing I also always do now when I believe my nerves are getting the best of me, is taking two deep breaths. It sounds so silly and simple but each breath I feel my muscles becoming less tense and my body relaxing. I also say in my head “I can do this”. I am not a very confident person but each time I say that in my head I am ready. It reminds me of the revision I have done beforehand and the prep work and how hard I have been working for this moment.

If you put in the time and effort you will succeed and if you do not succeed the first time, don’t be discouraged. Not everyone gets everything first try. You can do this if it is something that you really want to do.

Thank you for reading my blog post and I hope that all of your interviews go well. I am wishing you all luck and hope to see you all around the campus in the future.

Rebekah Chisholm

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